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Don’t white my taxi... Raj!

21 May 2012, 19:43

As a nation, South Africa has a rich history of strikes, demonstrations and protests, especially considering that these actions normally turn violent at some stage during their occurrence, something we’ve all grown so accustomed to by now.

In the current political climate, fuelled by international financial woes, as well as severe criticism on the Jacob Zuma administration, it seems these protests have become the standard in all industries, as different stakeholders want to have themselves heard.

Like a bushfire, the one dominoes to the other, creating a series of frustrating events for anyone associated with governing them.

The taxi industry is no exception, in fact they probably form the core group of people expected to partake in violent and unreasonable protests.

In light of the recent strikes by Durban based taxi organisations, and their bold and sweeping requests, one cannot but help to crack a chuckle at the ridiculousness they reverted to.

As if it’s not enough that the mere existence of their current protests are clouded in suspicion, they now demand (fists in the air boys!) that white and Indian metro police officers not partake in any ticket issuing towards taxi’s; a demand they base on a supposed ‘language barrier’.

One cannot but help but wonder how on earth they managed to pass their learners and driver’s licences and moreover, understand the traffic signs, if they are unable to speak or understand English. Quite phenomenal then, that they blame this very reason for their auspicious demand.

Interestingly, their demands also include the scrapping of fines, and further indulgences into traffic violations as they so vigorously continue in dancing the, protestors foxtrot and destroying public property in the Durban CBD.

They are the embodiment of what is currently wrong with South Africa...

I would place this protest in the same league as prisoners protesting, demanding presidential pardons and requiring the wardens to stop searching their cells, as this boils down to victimisation.

Ridiculous...?

My sentiments exactly.

Taxi’s, as everyone knows, forms part of the privatised public transport sector. They have a duty of care towards the safety of paying passengers, as well as the general public and road users, be they motorists or pedestrians.

This reason alone constitutes more than enough reasons for them to be targeted by traffic officials, for whatever reasons.

Couple this with the fact that taxis are the largest contributor to road deaths in the country, barring drunken driving, and it becomes very clear to the logical thinker that the metro police should rather increase their focus on taxis than reducing it.

No doubt, they supply a valuable and crucial link in the non-existent public transport system, but that hardly qualifies them as irreplaceable road (miss) users.

However, they embody the flat-out racism some members of the S.A public are allowed to get away with these days. On the other hand, who is the taxi industry really that one needs to feel insulted at their ridiculous requests? Are they just another example of the loss of logic associated with our country during the past years?

The leadership of a country is quite indicative of the way the people are expected to act. Hence the reasoning that the people get the leadership it deserves. This bears the question that if we as a nation deserve the poor governance of Zuma’s administration, given that certain members of the public have the audacity to expect whites and Indians to overlook their transgressions, due to their skin colour?

A culture of individualistic needs, i.e selfishness, has taken the nation by storm, inclining taxi drivers to demand they be treated as preferential road users by law enforcement; something they had claimed for themselves in any way over the years.

When the above is considered, one can only but come to the conclusion that we are governed by the same mentality as taxi drivers. South Africa, the taxi-state, in contrast to the police state derived from in our earlier years.

The taxi drivers want the freedom to do what they please on the roads...or to formalise this in any event, with the most outrageous demands known to man.

The familiarity of this mentality in the ANC government, is quite shocking to say the least, as both share the self serving outset one expects from them. The mere fact that the ANC has developed this intolerance to minorities, in favour of the masses, has trickled down to the average ANC supporter, culminating in the belief that they alone are responsible for the success of the country.

What it is then, is a mentality issue; something that many whites also suffered from during the apartheid years. People just following the lead of their leaders when they see that it was acceptable to oppress others.

If you can’t even count on taxi drivers to be courteous on the road, then why expect anything less of them off it. The taxi-wars of the past come to mind, just once again illustrating the organised crime associated with taxi owners, and their minions... the drivers.

Personally, I also started driving like a taxi when I find myself huddled in their swarms on the road. Mostly, this happens when I’m in the city centre.

I have found them to be very good drivers, in terms of skill, yet they lack the manners and tact in the same quantities they possess their Schumacher abilities.

So, if you act like a hooligan, you force others to do the same just to survive. My frustration levels with them on the roads have decreased since I also started to cut them off, steal their parking, and swerved around them when they turn in lanes not designated therefore. I wouldn’t teach a child to drive in such a manner, even though I’ve found it most useful against taxis.

So, they just seem to be another group with their unrealistic and illogical demands and reasoning... a product of poor governance... just minions, taking the lead from this nation’s government, and saying...”what’s good for you, should be better for us...”

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